How often do you update and clean out your electronic devices, computers, and cloud storage accounts? If you said “rarely,” you’re not alone.
Advancements in digital storage and server technology have made it easier than ever for both individuals and businesses to collect and share data. But unused and obsolete files can add strain and, over the lifecycle of a typical computer, both the device and storage unit can become susceptible to an unrecoverable crash.
This build-up of information can make individuals and organizations vulnerable. It is extremely difficult to protect digital information, especially if it’s been breached or stolen by a cybercriminal. An unprotected computer can be a magnet for trouble, as cybercriminals exploit these vulnerabilities to access stored data and confidential files and use them to commit a series of crimes including identity theft.
That’s why, whether you work at home or in the office, it’s wise to set aside some time to give your online accounts, share settings, and internet-connected devices a thorough inspection, update, and cleaning to protect sensitive information. Enterprises can also minimize cyber threats and enhance their data security using the Nintex Workflow Platform to automate their business processes.
In this post, we’ll provide you with some best practices for protecting your data, and explain how your business can use automation to keep your enterprise-wide data secure.
Tips for Protecting Your Work Devices
As most employers can testify, maintaining a productive workplace requires organization and security; one cannot exist without the other. Unorganized information is much more vulnerable than a securely stored and filed document.
In 2016 alone, more than 36 million records were exposed across a range of industries, according to the Identity Theft Resource Center’s annual Data Breach Report. Although you can’t necessarily stop high-level data breaches, you can be proactive in preventing cybercriminals from accessing the files and information stored on your own computer or electronic devices.
Here are some helpful tips everyone can use to stay organized and secure while working remotely.
Defend the workplace and hardware:
Never allow unauthorized individual access to personal offices, computers, or servers rooms. Individuals disguised or acting oddly should be addressed immediately. Although this is referred to as an “old method,” it’s still possible someone could gain access, go unnoticed, and physically apprehend sensitive information from a home or office.
Keep devices and software updated:
Among the easiest things an individual can do, updating internet-connected devices and security software will patch vulnerabilities detected and reported by other users. Although they can sometimes be a hassle, installing updates immediately is always recommended.
Never share work equipment:
Sharing work equipment can be very risky. Whether it’s an intentional breach of data or an accidental malware installation, the only way to guarantee your device is safe is to keep it secure from other users. You should never allow unauthorized individuals, including children, access to your private work equipment, accounts, and passwords.
Gain access to a secure network or VPN:
Some companies offer their remote employees access to a secure network via a remote connection. If your employer doesn’t have a remote network, you should consider researching the benefits of a VPN (virtual private network). A VPN allows you to browse, access, and transfer online information via an encrypted internet connection that uses built-in defenses to protect VPN users from unauthorized viewers or hackers.
Dispose of sensitive data properly:
Simply emptying your ‘trash’ is not enough to delete the information entirely. Although the process and applications differ slightly between OSX and Windows, it’s important to securely delete old documents and files often.
When using work devices, both shared and private, always logout of all email, cloud storage, financial, and social media accounts when you are done for the day.
Check your share settings:
Always double check what information you’ve allowed others access. Although it’s easy to digitally share files, this can leave your information vulnerable. Even if you follow the proper security protocol, you can never guarantee someone else will do the same.
How Automated Workflow Software Protects Valuable Information
It is also important to think company-wide when it comes to cyber security solutions. The Nintex Workflow Platform allows users to easily sort, move, and set permissions requirements on files, on a regular basis, without the need for intervention. When used to aid finance and HR departments, for example, administrators can safely access, update, and store sensitive financial and employee data using a secure platform.
This level of automation helps ensure confidential employee and client information cannot be seen and accessed by unauthorized individuals.
Nintex goes beyond secure storage and access settings by featuring user-friendly data input tools, as well. For example, after an HR manager administers a performance review, they can easily input a form summarizing the information discussed, including salary and feedback, that is automatically converted into a DocuSign PDF.
Once both parties sign the document, it is forwarded to the employee for printing and – unlike the traditional process where a manager files the employee documents manually – the workflow allows a manager to automatically transfer all completed documents to their desired location and archive the data within a secure and restricted server.
Another great example of workflow automation takes place inside of Salesforce. Salesforce has quickly become a popular system of record for countless organizations to store financial data, telemetry, customer data, and more. With Nintex for Salesforce, you can lay out a process where only certain fields or objects can be updated, and nothing else.
Using this completely customizable process, you, as the designer of the workflow, have control over exactly what information is variable and what is fixed. When applied to CRM products under the control of an administrator, this automated process helps eliminate deviations and protects valuable consumer information from unauthorized access.